To offer the community access to leading edge cancer, stem call and surgical therapies , UC San Diego Health collaborated with doctors, scientists, nurses and engineers to build Jacobs Medical Center, a world-class destination for patient-first care. Reflective of UC San Diego Health’s vision, “to create a healthier world – one life at a time – through new science, new medicine and new cures,” the 245-bed Jacobs Medical Center embraces the future intersections of technology, medicine and patient experience — creating an environment that is nothing short of astounding.
Connected to UC San Diego Health’s Thornton Pavilion and located adjacent to the new Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, the building is a translational medical center in the truest sense – embracing a “bench to bedside” model that facilitates the convergence of research, education and clinical care. Although one building, the 10-story, 509,000 SF hospital functions as three medical specialty centers— housing inpatient services for high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care, cancer care and advanced surgical care.
Building Massing and Form
The collaborative, multi-disciplinary design team has been described as a true partnership that inspired an interactive and iterative design process. The team created over 60 design concepts with a wide range of configurations and relationships to other buildings on the campus. The scheme continually changed over time, with the footprint and building envelope being driven by the number of beds per unit, and the number of rooms with windows and daylight defining the floorplate.
What emerged is a form that reinterprets the “bow tie” plan of Thornton Pavilion into a 3-pod concept. Three triangular 12-bed pods were designed, then joined at the center and knotted together into a 3-pronged “bow tie.” The tower form was then plugged into the base of the building, and organized into three distinct service line pavilions, eventually growing to its current height. The arrangement of floors allows the building to get smaller as the tower rises, helping to break down the scale of the tower and creating opportunities to integrate outdoor spaces throughout. The overall curvilinear form was driven by advanced computer parametric modeling to capitalize on the views, maximize daylight and minimize solar gain and glare. The geometry creates a subtle continuous flowing curve of the exterior — a dynamic form that changes as one passes around the building’s perimeter.
Elevating the Patient Experience
Each patient room utilizes technology designed with the patient experience in mind. The award-winning patient headwall seamlessly combines all necessary elements and equipment into one sculptural element. Every patient room is also equipped with an iPad that can be operated from the bed, empowering the patient to customize their environment. Created from the perspective of improving the experience for both patients and families, the unique iPad application provides control of the lights, window shades, and temperature, in addition to a menu to order meals and enabling in-room Apple TV control. The device also gives patients access to their treatment schedule, medical records, doctor conversations, and new mothers can even view their newborn’s vitals and medical record.
Incorporating Nature’s Therapeutic Benefits
Recognizing the important role nature can play in healing and recovery, providing a connection to the outdoor environment was crucial when designing the building. Dubbed a “garden hospital” due to the unique intermingling between building and landscape, multiple elevated gardens and terraces bring nature up to the patient level. Furthering the connection to the surrounding landscape, the interior color palette and finishes reflect the neighboring canyon, nearby ocean, and the West Coast’s breathtaking sunsets.
The building massing was tuned to capitalize views to the outdoors for all patient rooms, with 95% looking out onto the La Jolla landscape and the remaining 5% with views to outdoor gardens. Each patient room contains floor to ceiling windows that were designed to allow the patient to see outside — even when lying down — further connecting the outdoor environment to the interior spaces and allowing the landscape to be incorporated into the patient room.
Outside of the patient rooms, daylight is filtered throughout the floors, and family rooms are optimally designed in prominent locations at the ends of the corridors to allow maximum light and views. Using daylight as a tool to combat disorientation and capitalize on exterior views to assist with wayfinding, the hospital was designed for users to easily navigate the building. Daylight has even been added to spaces where it is not typically found including the hallways on the second floor where the advanced surgery pavilion’s operating rooms are located and the below-ground pharmacy and laboratory spaces.
The interior corridors are deliberately designed to encourage a natural flow through the building, replacing typical right angles with curved corner conditions. Inspired by a nurse pushing a patient bed through the hallways, designers rounded the corners off to increase ease of circulation and allow the beds to flow effortlessly through the hallways.
Led by award-winning designer, Mehrdad Yazdani, the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign comprises a group of creative thinkers who share a commitment to pushing the boundaries of design — from refining concepts of sustainability to the application of new technologies and urban initiatives.
Operating as a design laboratory — exploring, investigating and experimenting with ideas in architecture and looking at innovative methods of delivering these ideas — we are committed to design excellence and transformative client collaboration across a range of project types and budgets. We broaden the design dialogue of all our undertakings, viewing each exercise as an opportunity to explore with our clients and formulate a solution that meets their needs while providing an enduring architectural vision.
Our design methodology is founded on research and development, while capitalizing on the depth and resources of a large firm with a structure that ensures quality, delivery, value and integrity.